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The process of tearing down Sydney's monorail will start next month, but the Transport Minister will not yet say what the space made available by its removal might be used for.
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, who on Monday handed over the receipts from the monorail's final weekend to five charities, said the monorail trains would be removed from their stabling this week.
Two of the carriages from the now dormant monorail line, which closed on June 30, will be housed in Ultimo's Powerhouse museum.
But the rest will go the way of the monorail's track, pylons and stations, to be dismantled, recycled for scrap or used for landfill.
The demolition work will start in a month, the minister said, and could continue into next year.
"Obviously we are making sure that we try and do things in certain parts of the day when people aren't in the city, or after hours," Ms Berejiklian said.
"We are trying to reduce the disruption as much as possible."
Planning documents made available by Transport for NSW show that dismantling the 25-year-old monorail will require temporary road closures on Market Street, Pitt Street, Liverpool Street, George Street, Kent Street and Clarence Street in Sydney's CBD.
It will also require the temporary closure of the Western Distributor through Ultimo, and the possession of Sydney's light rail track for up to five weekends.
Pyrmont Bridge will also have to be closed at times.
Ms Berejiklian refused to comment on whether she would support a bike path along Pyrmont Bridge in place of the monorail, to link up the existing cycle path through Pyrmont with a part-built separated path on King Street.
"I don't want to be drawn in to what might happen afterwards," the minister said. "I'm focusing on the monorail being dislodged, dismantled as safely and as quickly as possible."
Ripping out monorail pylons on part of Pitt Street also potentially frees up another lane to traffic.
The $70,000 in ticket receipts from the monorail's last weekend were on Monday distributed to five charities: Camp Quality, CanTeen, Make-A-Wish Australia, The Children's Hospital at Westmead and Youth Off The Streets.
Almost 16,000 people caught the monorail on its last weekend, compared to about 6000 who used it on the same weekend a year ago.
"The monorail was all about kids, kids loved it, and the fact that young people were able to benefit from the last weekend is I think a great way to farewell the monorail," Ms Berejiklian said.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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